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Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack: remembering the victims

The latest issue of Charlie Hebdo.
The latest issue of Charlie Hebdo.
Gerard Julien / AFP via Getty Images

Gunmen on Tuesday killed at least 12 people at French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which has drawn criticism in recent years for covers and cartoons mocking religious figures, including the Prophet Mohammed. Here is what we know about the victims so far, based on media reports.

Stéphane Charbonnier

Charbonnier, who wrote under the name Charb, was the editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo.

Charbonnier previously defended the magazine's depictions of Mohammed in cartoons, which were meant to mock extremists, not Islam or Muslims specifically.

"Mohammed isn't sacred to me," Charbonnier told the Associated Press in 2012. "I don't blame Muslims for not laughing at our drawings. I live under French law. I don't live under Quranic law."

Charbonnier said he didn't fear retaliation for the magazine's controversial work. He explained to Le Monde in 2012, "I have no kids, no wife, no car, no credit. This may be a bit pompous what I'm saying, but I prefer to die standing than live on my knees."

Charbonnier made similar comments to ABC News in 2012. "Our job is not to defend freedom of speech. But without freedom of speech we are dead," he said. "I prefer to die than live like a rat."

Georges Wolinski

Georges Wolinski

French cartoonist Georges Wolinski (Ulf Andersen/Getty Images Entertainment)

Wolinski was an 80-year-old cartoonist who had worked for and collaborated with numerous publications, including Charlie Hebdo, L'Humanité, Libération, and Le Nouvel Observateur, according to Le Monde.

"The comedian," he was quoted as saying by Le Monde, "belongs to no party, believes in no religion; all acts are suspect, especially those who are not guided by the joy of discovery."

Bernard Verlhac

Verlhac, who went by the moniker Tignous, was a cartoonist who worked for multiple publications throughout his life, including Charlie Hebdo, Casus Belli, and Marianne, according to Le Monde. He also participated in Cartooning for Peace, which strives for "a better understanding and mutual respect between people of different cultures and beliefs."

Le Monde quoted him as saying, "A drawing can make one laugh. When it's truly received, it can make one think. If it makes one both laugh and think, then it's an excellent drawing. But the best drawing makes one laugh, think, and provokes a feeling of shame. The reader experiences shame for having laughed at such a grave situation. This drawing is magnificent, because it's the one that stays."

Jean Cabut

Jean Cabut

French cartoonist Jean Cabut (Stephane de Sakutin/AFP via Getty Images)

Jean Cabut, who went by Cabu, worked as a cartoonist for many publications, including Charlie Hebdo, Le Monde, and Le Figaro.

Cabut drew one of Charlie Hebdo's most controversial cover images of the Prophet Mohammed, according to the Telegraph. The cartoon depicted Mohammed saying, "It's hard to be loved by idiots," under the caption "Mohammed overwhelmed by fundamentalists."

Charlie Hebdo Mohammed Overwhelmed

"It's hard to be loved by idiots." (Charlie Hebdo)

Le Monde described Cabut's vast body of work: "The unparalleled pencil stroke which allowed him to caricature with a disconcerting ease any personality in the political world or show business, a lingering eternal adolescent air, a slightly arched shape under his raincoat, card drawings under his arm, worthy of the Grand Duduche, the naive and utopian hero that made him famous in the 1960s."

Cabut was also the father of French singer Mano Solo, who died in 2010 at the age of 46 as a result of multiple aneurisms.

Elsa Cayat

Cayat was an analyst and columnist at Charlie Hebdo, according to Le Figaro.

Philippe Honoré

Honoré was a cartoonist who had worked with Charlie Hebdo since 1992, according to the Guardian. He drew the last cartoon tweeted by the magazine before Wednesday's attack. The cartoon shows Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, with the caption, "Best wishes to al-Baghdadi as well." The leader of ISIS responds, "And especially to good health!"

Mustapha Ourrad

Ourrad was a copy editor at Charlie Hebdo, according to the Guardian.

Frederic Boisseau

Boisseau was a security guard at the Charlie Hebdo building for 15 years, according to the New York Times.

Bernard Maris

Maris was a French economist and shareholder in Charlie Hebdo. He served as a member of the Bank of France's General Council, NBC News reported. And he wrote for Charlie Hebdo under the moniker Uncle Bernard, according to French daily newspaper L'Humanité.

Maris was an admirer of the liberal economist John Maynard Keynes, according to Le Monde. He often criticized other economists for the perpetuation of economic concepts that he claimed led to excess.

L'Humanité previously reviewed some of his work: "In volume 1 of this 'anti-manual,' which appeared in 2003, Bernard Maris, a culturally refined and unorthodox economist, and Charlie Hebdo ('Uncle Bernard') chronicler to boot, broke down the ductile 'laws' of economics: laws of supply, demand, of 'pure and perfect' competition, etc. He showed that the economy is not an automatic system imposing its needs on man but that it is a human construct characterised by power play and by political domination, imitative behaviour etc."

Michel Renaud

Renaud, founder of the art festival Rendez-vous de Carnet de Voyage, was visiting the Charlie Hebdo offices for an upcoming project, according to Le Monde. One of Renaud's colleagues reportedly survived the attack.

Ahmed Merabet

Merabet, a 42-year-old police officer, was patrolling the neighborhood when he encountered masked gunment outside the Charlie Hebdo building, according to Le Figaro. "He leaves behind a wife," Rocco Contento, departmental secretary of the union SGP Police Unit, told Le Figaro. "We are all extremely shocked."

Franck Brinsolaro

Franck Brinsolaro was a 49-year-old police officer and bodyguard for Charbonnier, according to Le Monde. He leaves behind a daughter, one of his colleagues told Le Figaro.

Other victims

Eleven were injured, with four in serious condition, according to Paris prosecutor François Molins.

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